he bull is an incarnation of mystery, majesty and calmness. In one way or another, bulls are part of the cultural life of human societies around the globe. With such a vast scope, how do we explain the bull? In “Masculism”–an exhibition held at the Shiddhartha Art Gallery from February 22-March 24–the artist Gopal Das Shreshtra Kalapremi gives us a clue by representing the bull as a symbol of the male and the masculine. The male, in the purview of masculism, is dominated by matriarchy, as the bull is dominated by cultural beliefs.
Kalapremi–a term which translates to ‘lover of art’–was born in 1965 to the traditionally high-ranking Newar ‘Shrestha’ clan. Although art is traditionally considered a characteristic profession of the lower ranks within the Newar community, Kalapremi says he has felt the need to
create since a very young age. To follow his call, the artist had to face a society deeply rooted in traditional beliefs, but he did succeed with a lot of persistence and hard work. He emerged as an artist with his own portentous and original version of Nepali modern art, and these days, he is a revered figure in creative spheres of the country. Culture constructs and deconstructs us and all that which surround us in every stage of life. I recall the bullfighting prevalent in my own Spanish culture. Our bulls live luxurious and harmonious lives in the countryside in exchange for long deaths. Once they have grown big enough, we partake in a theatrical spectacle in which the animal, the scenario and the Spanish society play their respective roles. The bullring is a piece of art in itself. The colours gold and red decorate the space, full of bright lights. Within the form of a circle, like a Mandala, the bull is placed in
MARCH 2015 SPACES / 67
Art-Architecture-Interior Design-Accessories based Magazine